Stateside

Here you'll find the full program for Michigan Radio's Stateside. To find the individual segments and posts, go here.

John Thomas

In the summer of 2013, we spoke with law professor and music journalist John Thomas about the Kalamazoo Gals on Stateside.

Thomas had uncovered the story of women who built some 9,000 guitars at the Gibson Guitar headquarters in Kalamazoo during World War II.

This discovery clashed with Gibson’s official assertion that they built no instruments during the war.

He tells the story in his book, Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women & Gibson’s “Banner” Guitars of WWII.

In the three years since we last spoke, the story has taken some interesting turns. Today Thomas and Kalamazoo Gal Irene Stearns joined us again on Stateside to talk about it.

The Henry Ford

The Beatles have come to The Henry Ford Museum.

The Magical History Tour, a 10,000-square-foot exhibit that explores the full history of the iconic rock band is coming to Dearborn. The exhibit takes fans through the band's early days in Liverpool through its break-up in the 1970s and the solo careers that followed. 

While there are millions of fans of the band in the Great Lakes State, the number of significant connections to Michigan is relatively minimal (Paul McCartney has a Detroit Red Wings sticker on his guitar!). So why was Michigan chosen as the first stop on this tour? 

According to Bowens, the report "does not adequately reflect the realities of today."
morgueFile user kconnors / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Big changes are coming to students in Albion.  Voters have approved Marshall Public Schools' annexing of the struggling Albion School District. 

From Russia with rockin' love for Detroit

May 24, 2016
Courtesy of Vladislav Yermachenko

In recent years, Detroit hasn't just inspired local artists. It's also inspired artists across the world. Russian rocker Vladislav Yermachenko, drummer for a Kazakhstan-based Russian rock band Polygon, has been inspired by the city since childhood when his father gave him a book on the world’s automotive industry. After seeing pictures of Motor City-made cars, he fell in love with Detroit. He's now a journalist for automotive magazines.

But cars aren’t the only thing that has inspired Yermachenko. Detroit’s resilience in the face of struggle inspired him to write Polygon’s song, “Winners in This Life.” His love for cars and resilient nature show in his lyrics. 

flickr user Heath Alseike / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

How high is too high to drive in Michigan?

With more and more physicians prescribing medical marijuana for chronic pain and other conditions, it's a question that needs to be answered.

A protester shows her support for Planned Parenthood outside the Supreme Court Building in March
flickr user Lorie Shaull / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Planned Parenthood has been getting some very strong pressure from pro-life supporters, including members of the state Legislature, who want to shut the organization down because it provides abortions.

Or, at the very least, they want to severely restrict Planned Parenthood's funding and operations. 

Don't do this: learning from the Flint water crisis

May 24, 2016
Gov. Snyder at a press conference in Flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder promoted his business skills when first running for office, but those skills are now being questioned as the Flint water crisis continues to be a government nightmare. Grand Valley State University is taking the opportunity to learn from the mistakes made by the Snyder administration.

Marie McKendall is a business professor at GVSU who will be using the Flint water crisis as a case study in her business ethics class this fall.

“It’s horrible that it happened, but it’s a wonderful case study,” McKendall said on Stateside. “There are structural problems, there are cultural problems, there are social problems and psychological problems. … It’s a far richer case than a lot of the ones we have used before.”

In the course, McKendall wants to make it clear that there isn’t a “villain” to hunt down, but that government incompetence did make the situation worse.

“I think they completely lost sight of the fact that there were people who were being affected by the decisions they were making," she said.

markbwavy / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

Climate change presents one of the biggest problems we have ever faced. It is literally as large as our planet. We must take action to address it or its consequences will intensify, growing more costly and increasingly affecting us all.

Fortunately, we know what to do -- transition to cleaner sources of energy to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Quickly.

In the electricity sector, this means rapidly tapping into renewable energy resources like wind and solar on a grand scale.

Flickr user Mike Fritcher / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Throughout its 314-year history, Detroit has been one of the nation’s most historically significant cities.

 

There's enough history that Detroit author Bill Loomis found a significant event for each day of the calendar year throughout the city’s history in his new book, On This Day in Detroit History.

 

From sports heroes, to the Beatles, to Harry Houdini -- the book covers everything Detroit.

Listen to the interview below to learn about some of the strange and spectacular events from Detroit’s history.

 

 


Flickr user gmanviz/Flickr / https://flic.kr/p/r6cN6r

Andrew Hoffman’s grandmother was born in 1895 and died in 1990. In her lifetime, she saw the adoption of indoor plumbing, indoor electrification, airplane travel and computers. Children of today will also see change their lifetime. The main changes, Hoffman believes, will be in electricity and mobility.

 

Hoffman is a professor at the Ross School of Business and Education Director at the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan. He wrote an essay for The Conversation entitled “How driverless vehicles will redefine mobility and change car culture.”

He joined us on Stateside to discuss what may happen in the near future, as self-driving vehicles make their mark on culture.

 


Curly fries and a burger
flickr user ebruli / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Fast food has dramatically changed our food landscape.

Unlike our parents or grandparents, we don't have to plan too far ahead to figure out what's for dinner tonight.

But the greater variety and convenience of ready-to-eat meals hasn't made finding good food easier for everyone.

The University of Michigan's Nike apparel debuted at 12:01 on August 1.
John U. Bacon

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joined us today to talk about college sports recruiting. Specifically, the wooing and courting that happens when a college or university-level coach has his or her eye on a "hot prospect."

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The future is cloudy for groups fighting to get those marijuana and anti-fracking proposals on the November ballot in Michigan.

The House last week gave final approval to Senate Bill 776, which sets a strict 180-day window for groups to collect signatures on ballot initiatives and constitutional amendment petitions. 

Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Matthileo / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Detroit News reported yesterday that Michigan corporations will receive tax refunds that exceed corporate tax payments to the state. In other words, there will be a net loss. Corporations will get back more than they pay.

Two things are happening here. First, tax credits have increased as chiefly the auto companies are cashing in on those incentives. Secondly, tax revenues are down.

Rich Studley, the CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, joins Stateside to explain how this happened. 

sherlock holmes character in silhouette
dynamosquito / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Many around the world will be celebrating the birthday of Sherlock Holmes creator Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle on Sunday, May 22. However, as we learned from University of Michigan medical historian and PBS Newshour contributor Dr. Howard Markel, there's another reason to celebrate.

Doyle was working on his first Sherlock Holmes book while practicing as a doctor and also writing for the London-based monthly journal, Review of Reviews. Doyle used his deductive reasoning to play a role in the discovery of a cure for tuberculosis.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Thinking about the upcoming Mackinac Island Policy Conference, Tammy Coxen with Tammy's Tastings offers a new riff on the cocktail called the Conference. The original Conference cocktail originated at Death and Co. in Manhattan's East Village. In turn, that drink is a spin off of the classic Old Fashioned.

The changes made to make the Michigan Conference include substituting Michigan maple syrup for the sugar in the drink, and using chocolate bitters as a playful nod to the fudge shops found on Mackinac Island. 

Courtesy of Imani Harris

The future of the Detroit Public Schools as a functioning district is in doubt. The state Legislature is haggling over whether to give it a fighting chance or shortchange it – and allow uncertified teachers.

That has legislators, the governor, some business leaders and teachers very concerned. But they aren’t the only ones.

Imani Harris, a sophomore at Renaissance High in Detroit, voiced her thoughts on what’s happening to DPS in a letter. She joined us today on Stateside.

NEFCO, a Massachusetts-based company, has partnered with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to turn waste water residue into fertilizer pellets like the ones shown above.
Flickr/City of Geneva / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Waste water sludge is making its way to Michigan farms in the form of fertilizer pellets. The practice has not gone unnoticed in rural Lenawee County, where last fall and this spring, residents have complained about the foul odor emanating from nearby fields. 

Here's how James Bryja of Onsted describes the smell: 

The bar at Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
flickr user Bernt Rostad / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

We Michiganders are pretty spoiled when it comes to our wide variety of beers. 

And we have Founders Brewing Co. to thank for so, so many of those beloved brews. 

Flickr user Alex Proimos/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0
Richard T. James

Marilyn McCormick only expected to stay in Detroit for a year or two before moving to New York to live the “bohemian lifestyle.” Then she got a teaching job at her alma mater, Cass Technical High School. “I was totally enjoying what I was doing…[and] I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing,” McCormick said. Now forty years later, the performing arts teacher will be retiring.

Aladar Nesser

Ice arenas and fights are among the first images to come to mind when someone thinks about hockey. When author and playwright Mitch Albom thinks about hockey, he has one thing on his mind: musicals.

"Hockey - The Musical!" will be making its opening debut tonight for a month-long run at Detroit's City Theatre, and Albom hopes it will bring together theater geeks and sports fans alike.

Flickr user Images_of_Money/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Michigan Department of Treasury is projecting a $99 million net loss in revenue due to an increase of tax refunds to businesses across the state.

Rafael Soto / Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan's K-12 students are among the weakest academically in the U.S., and they're falling even further behind, according to a report released today by Education Trust-Midwest, a Michigan-based non-partisan research education and advocacy organization.

The report predicts that if things don't change, Michigan will rank 48th nationally in fourth grade reading scores by 2030, far from the state's goal of becoming a top ten state in education by that year. 

Mercedes Mejia

The vast woods, rivers, and wildlife of Northern Michigan captured Hemingway’s heart and imagination early in life. 

“Michigan always represented a great source of freedom for Hemingway. Everything that he’s associated with – outdoorsmanship, hunting, fishing, that all came from his time in Northern Michigan,” says Chris Struble, president of the Michigan Hemingway Society.

According to Joshua Akers, nearly 20% of all land parcels in Detroit are owned by speculators
flickr user Berndt Rostad / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Speculators have remained a consistent part of Detroit's bankruptcy and post-bankruptcy stories.

They own nearly 20 percent of all land parcels in Detroit.

Hemingway home
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Ernest Hemingway spent his boyhood summers in Michigan, and the last 20 years of his life in Cuba. 

Today, Finca Vigia, Hemingway’s Cuban home, is undergoing a major renovation, overseen by a Michigan construction company known for its historic renovation work.

a baby and mom
Flickr user howardignatius/Flickr

More and more hospitals around Michigan and across the country are starting to implement what’s called “Kangaroo Care,” skin-to-skin bonding for mothers and their newborn babies.

Michigan state Capitol
Flickr user J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

There's now a new backdrop for Mental Health Awareness Month: the debate over whether to privatize Michigan's $2.4 billion mental health system. 

 

Governor Snyder's 2017 budget calls for turning over state funding and management to Medicaid HMOs.  The Michigan Association of Health Plans has been lobbying for the switch. Meanwhile, the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards is digging in to fight it. Robert Sheehan, CEO of the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards, joined us on Stateside to discuss the issue.

FLICKR USER MR_WAHLEE https://flic.kr/p/djGtgH

The word has come from Washington: By year's end, new federal rules could bring overtime protection to more than four million American salaried workers – more than 100,000 of them in Michigan. Salaried employees earning up to $47,476 dollars a year will be paid time and a half when they work more than 40 hours a week. This is compared to the current law that states salaried employees must make less than $24,000 to receive overtime.

 

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